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Warnings: Mature themes throughout the story, dealing with rape, torture and the psychological traumas of imprisonment in a concentration camp. Sexually explicit scene in Chapter 23.

Chapter 1
Chapter 2
Chapter 3
Chapter 4
Chapter 5
Chapter 6
Chapter 7
Chapter 8
Chapter 9
Chapter 10
Chapter 11
Chapter 12
Chapter 13
Chapter 14
Chapter 15
Chapter 16
Chapter 17
Chapter 18
Chapter 19
Chapter 20
Chapter 21
Chapter 22
Chapter 23
Chapter 24
Chapter 25
Chapter 26
Chapter 27
Chapter 28
Chapter 29
Chapter 30
Chapter 31
Chapter 32
Chapter 33
Chapter 34
Chapter 35
Chapter 36
Chapter 37
Chapter 38
Chapter 39
Chapter 40
Author's Notes



"Gambit, I'm ordering you to return to the Blackbird. Now, mister!"

Without a thought, Remy removes the headset and lets it fall, silencing Scott's voice. It's the hardest thing he's ever done, but now he answers to a deeper need. The others may see it as revenge, but for this man, it is justice. The necessary purification that must come before the tortured souls of this place, living and dead, can find peace.

The order is given. Against a sky alive with aircraft, the Blackbird ascends in a gleaming blur.

Remy Etienne LeBeau stands alone. A solitary figure illuminated by the dying lights of a nation being brought to its knees. The rumble of exploding shells stirs the ground beneath his feet, even as it rekindles the fire in his blood. A fire that roils against his nerves, seeking release.

With a snap of his thumb across his fingers, he charges a card and lets it fall far below, landing onto one of the many gas mains which cross the island. A wall of flames cuts through the compound, consuming the barricks of the Genoshan guards and continuing on until it meets its end in the sea. Another card. Another roaring explosion erupts, this one taking out the mine field. The western sky darkens with thick smoke and shrapnel.

The third card creates a funeral bier from the pits, transforming the foul stench and decay into a ring of fire that circles New Genosha in a luminescent halo.

Au reviour, mes amis.

Remy turns to face the slaughterhouse, the last bastion of Sinister's influence. He licks the sudden dryness from his lips. Swallows against the tightness, the pain, in his throat. A dozen images come to mind. Of Rogue. Of Nicola. Of himself. A dozen unvoiced epithets as he lays glowing hands against the splintered wood and concrete.


Without warning, a wave of energy cuts him off, knocking him to his knees.


Eric's voice thunders through the dying sounds of war. He alone commands Remy's attention, momentarily distracting the Cajun from his obsessive destruction. Remy's eyes lift to Eric's, full of confusion. The hard set of Eric's jaw softens, and he offers his hand to help the younger man to his feet.

"Enough, Remy. There will be no more blood shed on my threshold."

"Your threshold?!"

Eric sighs heavily.

"We are a race apart, my friend. Always there will be those who would persecute us, those who would see us dead rather than cede their destinies to our superior abilities. Or there will be others, such as Sinister, who would dissect our very beings under the guise of science."

"All de more reason for you t'be helpin' me take dis place down."

"No. If necessary, I will defend this place until the last breath leaves my body."

Quick as thought, Remy drops three cards into his palm, charges them, and hurls them towards the slaughterhouse.


With a flick of his fingers, Eric surrounds the cards in a magnetic field, then hurls them into the sky where they explode harmlessly. He turns back to Remy, an imposing figure against the full light of morning.

"I do not seek a shrine, only safe refuge from the world, a haven for myself and my people."

"You t'ink de Genoshans jus' gon' let you walk in an' take over, eh?"

Sadness shadows Eric's eyes as he gazes into the distance.

"...'those who do not remember the past are doomed to repeat it'...the Genoshans are not unlike the Germans of a generation ago."

"Ain't dat de point?"

"Many of the Jews that were killed were German citizens. Many of the mutants who have suffered here are Genoshan citizens. This is their home, Remy. Would you add to their losses by leaving them a wasteland?"

Remy turns away, finding no answer to Eric's logic.

"Sinister'll be back."

"I will be waiting."

"Y'wan' me to jus' walk away from dis? Jus' like dat?"

"Let it go, Gambit."

Remy turns around suddenly, astonished to hear Scott Summer's voice answering.

"Thought you left wit' de others."

"You thought wrong."

Remy glances back to Eric, then looks out across New Genosha. Finally, his eyes meet Scott's, and he's surprised by the compassion revealed there.

"Let's go home."



Continued in Chapter 37.


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